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Data Center Primary Storage
4 minute read

First Impressions With PowerStore OS 2.0

Get hands on with Dell EMC's latest update, "Foothills Core."

In This Article

Dell Technologies added PowerStore to their robust portfolio of storage products in May 2020. Today, this architecture is already among the most rapidly growing Dell solutions. In April 2021, Dell has just launched PowerStore 2.0 featuring fixes and updates, and we're here to give you the highlights. 

Starting with the initial V1 release, each of the following service packs included both bug fixes and key enhancements, such as:

  • AIX support
  • LDAP Integration
  • Agentless Data Migrations from previous Dell EMC storage arrays
  • SRM support
  • Enterprise Storage Analytics for vROps

So what should we expect from PowerStore OS 2.0? One of the key benefits is the new lower-cost platform, the PowerStore 500, and we'll definitely get to that. But first, let's take a look at the new feature enhancements, shall we? 

Platform

  • NVMeOF–FC
  • 1.5TB SCM drives

Core

  • Meta-data tiering on SCM drives
  • Dual Parity
  • Data efficiency updates

Enterprise Features

  • Syslog Support
  • SNMP Support
  • Energy Star 2.0 certification

Cluster Enhancements

  • Automatic primary appliance selection
  • Create Cluster REST API
  • Remove Appliance from GUI
  • Appliance space evacuation
  • Online vVol migration

Metrics

  • Per-node metrics
  • File metrics
  • iSCSI port metrics
  • Volume node affinity

NAS

  • Grace period per tree quota

VMware

  • vVol VM host visibility
  • PowerStore X multi appliance clustering with online vVol migration
  • PowerStore X VMFS Support

Data Protection

  • DR failover testing

PowerStore Manager

  • Warning state for jobs
  • Global Banner
  • Independent system health check
  • Display cluster time

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New feature improvements

What these updates suggest are a more data-centric, intelligent and adaptable infrastructure that supports both traditional and modern workloads. We've dug deep into these user interface improvements and are especially impressed with the focus on metrics. The features here are significant to system admins as most will spend a lot of time here provisioning. The metrics provided will provide insight into the storage array, arming the storage administrator with the data needed to ensure reliable and predictive performance.

Cluster expansion in Dell PowerStore X series
Detailed metrics showing file performance per node

Cluster expansion for the “X” series is another big plus as two nodes can be quickly outgrown as demands increase. With the latest software release, you can now cluster up to four appliances. The cluster expansion is not limited to just the UI as PowerStore has full API integrations to accomplish this task with REST APIs.

PowerStore Rest API
PowerStore Rest API

The NVMeOF-FC implementation is as simple as ever to consume on the storage array. A LUN is a LUN, meaning if you want to present it as NVMeOF-FC you map it as NVMeOF-FC. If not, map it as a standard fiber channel SCSI device or iSCSI. It’s all supported and easily modified without destroying any data.

NVMe implementation
NVMe implementation 

The PowerStore 500 is Dell EMC’s newest low-cost platform. The PowerStore 500 is a single socket architecture as opposed to the existing PowerStore nodes all being dual socket. The PowerStore 500 has a raw capacity of 384TB (1.2PB effective) and supports up to 25 drives in a single appliance. Expansion is through clustering only, and you can expand the cluster up to 4 appliances. The PowerStore 500 can support block, file, and vVols workloads. What is currently not supported is the AppsON functionality. Given the single socket architecture and relatively small memory footprint, this isn’t unreasonable. Overall the PowerStore 500 is a cost-effective solution that doesn’t skimp on features and can support any workload you throw at it.  

Model Comparison
PowerStore model comparison

In summary, with V2 you can expect improved performance, better DDR rates, AppsON scale-out, NVMeOF-FC, SCM metadata tiering, DRE dual parity and a new low-cost platform. Dell EMC continues to excite and innovate in the mid-range market with the latest V2 release for PowerStore.

Determine if PowerStore is the right fit for your data center.